Monday, September 19, 2011

McBain (1991)

Seen: On vhs on my tv, rented from Hollywood Express in Cambridge.

Scouring the formidable vhs section at Hollywood Express (we found some GEMS, believe me), Miles was almost immediately struck by McBain, an actual movie and not just a Simpsons reference. It stars Christopher Walken as the titular hero, a badass Vietnam veteran who rounds up his fellow ex-soldiers when their old comrade Roberto (Chick Vennera) is killed. With the help of Roberto's sister (Maria Conchita Alonso), they continue his fight for political revolution in Colombia by planning to execute the tyrannical president.

Oh dear. Christopher Walken is entertaining in anything, as we know, but what the hell is this movie doing? It's sort of funny sometimes, it's impossible to follow, and it's often pretty boring. Of course I loved the many ridiculous moments, including an amazing gun shot out of a plane, businessman torture, dumbed-down depiction of Colombia, Walken's silly outfits, and some great fistfights. But I kept zoning out during the exposition moments, and couldn't really be bothered to pay attention to most of the characters. Although Michael Ironside was great as a pony-tailed tech geek. And the final siege on the president's palace is pretty crazy.

As a movie: 1.5/5
As entertainment: 3/5

Watch Instead: Mmmm something with Van Damme, perhaps? Universal Soldier springs to mind.


  1. oh ouch. i got excited at reading the title, getting myself confused with the Ed McBain police procedural novels (realising too late that mcbain is the author not the character)

    you still have a working video player? thats impressive. when mine broke nobody would fix it.

  2. Toby: Haha sorry to disappoint you! And yes I've stubbornly held on to my dvd/vcr combo player for over 5 years primarily so I can play my small vhs collection. I never even thought about it breaking, oh dear! I hope it never does!

  3. You're right about Walken being entertaining in anything he's in. I hadn't heard of this film before and I'm going to guess it's difficult to track down. One I might see but I won't be rushing to find it.